Urban Gardening 101

Urban Gardening 101

Urban gardening is a byproduct of accelerated urbanization. City dwellers who love growing make do with the limited space available, which leads to gardening on rooftops, patios, alleyways, or whatever little space they can find. If you are going through the same dilemma of aspiring to plant but not having the luxury of space, we have listed below some helpful tips to get you started on growing your garden.

Space

If horizontal space is an issue, you can start planting upwards! Maximize your wall spaces,  like balconies, by hanging small pots, jars. You can use other containers that you can use as an artistic alternative to regular plant pots. This kind of method solves several problems at once; if you have dogs who can access your plants and sometimes unintentionally damage your garden, or your rental is not allowing you to dig through the grass area.

You can start a little urban garden with a few imaginative approaches. There are several varieties of vertical garden structures, here are a few ideas to inspire your creativity:

a. Gutter garden 

You can fix gutters on the wall and then put plants in them. Stack one on top of another while maintaining 6 inches to 12 inches distance in between, depending on the size of the plant you are growing. Align the gutters in a zig-zag pattern so that when watering the top gutter, it will drain the water from one row to the next.

b. Wall garden 

Secure small containers that will serve as pots on your wall. Choose pots that are not too heavy for the wall. You can also attach creeper plants to the wall and enjoy naturally beautiful drapes on your balcony as they thrive.

Serving a variety of purposes, this wall hanging planting bag comes in numerous sizes. Choose the size that will be perfect for a colorful display of flowering plants on your balcony or patio! Or use to store your gardening tools to keep them clean and at the ready. 

c. Hang baskets

If you are hesitant in drilling holes to secure pots unto your walls, you can hang baskets over your fence or a post, and you can even hook the baskets to your ceiling. Just as with a walled garden keep your plant baskets from getting too heavy.

Location

It is vital to determine where you will situate your garden before you set it. If you do it right the first time, you will not have to relocate it. Here are some of the things you must consider:

a. Light

Ordinarily, plants need between six to eight hours of sunlight every day. It is best to find the spot where sunlight will be available for that amount of time. If the area that you have for plants does not get that amount of sunlight, look for plants that require little to no sunlight. Thyme and lemon balm are two plants that do not need lots of sunshine. For shady areas, ferns, amaryllis bulbs, lucky bamboo, and peace lily grow wonderfully.

b. Avoid too much wind

If plants are located in windy areas, they can easily get dried out very quickly. If you are living in a windy area, you might want to position your plants where the larger plants provide shelter to the smaller ones. Plus, when their pots are placed together, humidity is increased and chances for the plants thriving is much higher.

c. Patio  

Before you get started on your patio garden, it’s essential to understand how much sun your patio receives.

If your patio receives little light, opt for plants that thrive in the shade, such as hostas and salad greens. If your patio receives more light, you'll have a wider variety of patio garden plants that you can grow. As you arrange them, position the full sun plants in a way it can overshadow the shade plants.

Plan Your Plant

Space for urban spaces for gardening can be limited. When planning a garden in a small space, choose the type of plants that will do well in a small area.  You might want to try space-friendly plants like cherry tomatoes, chilis, Japanese eggplants, and other crops that have smaller produce.

Growing herbs are ideal in confined environments. All you need to do is place them on your kitchen windowsill and they will thrive nicely.

Group The Plants

A tight area might compel you in putting all the plants in one spot, but we must be wary of grouping them right. We do not want our plants to fight or choke each other in an attempt to get the nutrients they need. By knowing which plants can flourish together, growing them in a small space won’t be a problem. Lettuce and herbs can be placed in one area, and tomatoes thrive well with onions and basil.

Bugs

Gardening indoors does not guarantee that the plants will be bug-free. Wanting your indoor plants free from pesticides, there is another option for keeping bugs at bay.  You can make a DIY bug repellent by mixing a tablespoon of liquid dish soap and a quarter cup of water.  A quarter what? A quarter tablespoon? A quarter cup? Put it in a spray bottle and down the stems and leaves of your plants to keep bugs at bay!

Soil

Potting soil is lighter than outdoor soil, easily drains the water, and potting soil is sterilized which kills off weed seeds and some diseases that could harm your plant. You can prepare potting soil at home or buy it from a gardening store.  It is a soilless mixture of peat, composted bark, sand, recycled mushroom compost, perlite, and many others.

Drainage

Drainage holes are essential for any containers you will use as pots. Lack of proper drainage causes soil to become water clogged. The water can rot the roots of any plants.  Ensure that the holes in your container are large enough to allow excess water to drain out.

Water

Clean tap water is essential for all urban gardens. You need to know whether your potted plants require a lot of watering or not. Some pots hold less water compared to others and may require you to water them more frequently especially during summer or hot days. Check the soil to determine if it is still moist, or if it is dry about two inches down. When the day, be sure to water the pots. You can help the pots to retain moisture by placing mulch on the surface of the soil. 

The accelerated progress of urbanization has a lot of advantages. As the population grows in urban areas, people can be constrained with time and space. Urban gardening is a great activity to infuse a positive and eco-friendly activity amidst the daily grind.

One does not need to be an expert on cultivation to start an urban garden, so it can be easy to start a small and manageable garden. Growing a few plants in a tiny space can be extremely beneficial for you and your family.

Make sure that you are brushed up on Urban Gardening 101 before venturing on this new hobby or lifestyle. Happy Growing!